When you hear the word, what does it sound like to you?
Do you feel anticipation of what is to come… or a new beginning?
The bible shows this word 204 times. That is pretty impressive.
The first one to show up on dictionary.com was this one:
[and endurance produces character, and character produces hope]
which is actually the middle of a scripture reference from Romans 5:4
Full verse: Romans 5:3-5 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
The definition of endurance is this: the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress or other adverse conditions.
My paraphrase of the verse: When we have hard and difficult times our character develops through those experiences, and then that character we received, produces a new hope within us.
I am sure we have all been there at least once in our lives.
Sometimes I have felt like my character should be done by now.
I want to say to God, no more please.
But God continues to say to us:
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in our confident hope.
Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
1 Corinthians 13:13 Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love.
Psalm 119:49 Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope.
I believe hope is powerful.
It brings awareness that there will be something better for us.
To the parent in the hospital room, waiting for an answer or breakthrough, hope is vital, critical and life giving.
It encourages the will to not give up.
Think of the prisoners of war who survived terrible things because of the hope within them.
From dictionary.com – “to look forward to with desire and
reasonable confidence. to believe. trust.”
Hebrews 11:11 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Remember the time when Jesus was born, they were waiting for a Savior to come rescue them.
This person, this Messiah would save them.
It was hope that kept them waiting and asking, ‘is this the one?’
It’s sad though, because what they were expecting, was not what they received.
God gave them a baby. An infant. A king who would grow up into his ‘power’ and authority, with teachings and lessons and then he would return back to his father.
They could not grasp or accept this infant as ‘their hope.’
Only Simeon and Anna knew for sure the meaning of ‘hope’, having waited for years for that right moment when they could meet him.
Isn’t that just like us sometimes. Our preconceived ideas of how God will provide for us often times, stop us from ‘grasping and taking hold of’ the hope he provides for us right in front of us.
We do not see through spiritual eyes.
Our vision is blurred… while we wait and we lose so much by not trusting.
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer,
Can you see how important hope is to us?